All cruise ships operate a ‘cash free’ system on board so you will only need currency for the ports of call you will be visiting on shore.
No matter where you are travelling to in the world on board a cruise there are no cash transactions taken onboard.
All cruise lines operate a ‘cash free’ system using the ‘Seapass card’ which is issued to you at Guest Services upon check in. This card is used to buy items or services i.e. shore excursions, speciality dining, drinks, spa treatments and is settled at the end of your holiday.
The only currency you will require will be for the countries that you are visiting as part of your cruise itinerary. Even if you have pre-booked shore excursions or choose to visit the ports on your own you may still need a small amount of cash to purchase items on shore such as souvenirs, drinks or snacks.
When travelling to the Caribbean you should therefore take a small supply of US dollars - most islands will accept US dollars as well as their own local currency, with the exception of Cuba.
To avoid ending up with unwanted local currencies, it’s a good idea to stock up on small denomination US dollar notes to pay for items on shore as traders on the islands may well give change in the local currency.
If you are visiting multiple countries you can exchange currency on board ship, however the rate may not be as favourable as you would receive back in the UK.
Some cruise ships do also have ATM’s but these will carry fees - For example Royal Caribbean ship ATMs charge up to $5.50 (£3.50) per transaction. It is also worth noting that the ATMs on the islands will usually only issue in local currency.
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